No strict narrative theme nor clear silhouette within the Proenza Schouler collection this season, but nonetheless still a truly tremendous collection from the design duo.
Their starting point was a bank of images of women, artists, thinkers and writers who have inspired designers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez. And the result was forty looks and forty very different ways of dressing.
Presented on a bright chilly Saturday morning inside a renovated car garage in Chelsea, the show was also an expression of a trio of women – actress Chloë Sevigny, novelist Ottessa Moshfegh and musician Arca.
Jack and Lazaro requested Moshfegh develop a series of journal entries of a woman’s intimate thoughts, creating an inner monologue entitled February 11, 2023. These were the very first words uttered by Sevigny, who narrated the journal as the soundtrack and also opened the show as a model.
Attired in an elegant blazer, with a zippered back offering greater ease and paired with the first of many carefully creased and crushed shirts.
The cast marching along multiple narrow runways, the clothes occasionally brushing against the audience almost like in a Marina Abramović performance. As a soundtrack by Arca, soared and dived and undulated with chimes and bells and synthesisers.
“Together, these three women, in collaboration across oceans and time zones create a piece that we believe adds another layer of depth, of emotion, of complexity and nuance to the clothing,” opined the duo.
Practically devoid of prints, except for some up-cycled silks from their own archives, that were used as detailing in some beautifully draped pleated dresses. Other dresses were trimmed with strands of sequins, in clever poetic gestures. Repurposed chic.
The gents played with some amazing knits, knitted at a 60-degree angle so they hung elegantly askew on the torso. Two sensational metallic thread car crash dresses made over crepe gauze will also be wonderful head turners. As will a series of gathered glove leather dresses in pewter or blood red.
Great, easy boyfriend coats made in tweed bouclé looked ideal. While a series of pony skin coats were hyper modern with their gentle layering and pleats – whether cadmium yellow or black and white. Many looks worn with high nappa boots.
A collection greeted with thunderous applause at the finale. Including many pals who showed up from Sienna Miller and Alexa Chung to Liya Kebede and Marc Jacobs, attired in a Roman purple jacket and high heels.
Intriguing, innovative interesting and experimental in the best sense of the term. Like drip dyed velour tops and gowns made by allowing ice cubes of dye to slowly drip down yards of fabric.
This collection did not have one bum look. Instead, it was a cool complete wardrobe, and ideal clothes for today’s active urban women. Always looking sophisticated and arty, even as the garments seem to reference the very architecture around them – be it offbeat classicism, or industrial.
Indeed, come to think of it, no designers working in New York today better define American fashion than Proenza Schouler. This is their era.
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